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Living in Romsey: The Local Area Guide

Situated between the cities of Winchester, Southampton and Salisbury and dating as far back as 907, the market town of Romsey has been around for a long time. So long, in fact, that the town has seen attacks by Vikings and The Black Death, with up to half its population being depleted in the year 1348. Despite this, the sturdy little village has survived against the odds, rebuilding through the use of the tanning and wool industries; both important economically following the sudden decline in population all those years ago.

Romsey was, at one point, well known for its brewing and sack-making contributions, with exports in papermaking funding the town’s economy. Today, Romsey values its farming trade and holds regular farmers’ markets, to attract local produce sellers from all over the county.

Whilst the town has become noticeably more modernised over the years, it still retains an old timey feel to it; what with the classical buildings lining the high street, the rural location alongside the elegant River Test, and the beautiful Romsey Abbey, which was built back in the 10th century and remains standing to this day.

For those who fancy something a little more 21st Century, there are several shops, pubs and cafes in the area, as well as various restaurants and takeaways. There is also a gallery, and a sports centre – and the bustling market found in the centre of town is certainly not to be missed. The marketplace itself generally hosts local farmers’ markets, however street markets are regular and offer assortments of everything you need – and everything you don’t!


At a steady population count of just under 17,000, Romsey’s population has remained constant over the years, indicating that the town appears to be a good place to pitch up and stay for the long run. The crime statistics are lower than the UK average, and the entire market town has a community feel to it.

The largest age groups are those aged between 30 and 59, whilst those in their early 20’s are the smallest age group, suggesting the town is predominantly middle aged and older. The town’s average age is older than the UK average.

Romsey is well known as being the hometown of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as well as the author of the books from which well-known children’s character ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ originated.


Primary schools in the area include Halterworth Primary School, Romsey Primary School and Braishfield School. Halterworth Primary is the highest primary rated school in the area, boasting an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report, and excellent exam and survey results. Closer to the town’s centre, Romsey Primary achieved a ‘Good’ result, and has been praised for the selection of extra-curricular activities available for its student body.

Secondary schools include The Romsey School; a comprehensive academy offering education to young people aged between 11 and 16. This school has a 94% GCSE pass rate between A* - C, and won the ‘Community School of the Year’ award in 2006 for the services provided. The other local secondary school is The Mountbatten School, which became a specialist language college in 2000, and has since earned itself several national awards for the outstanding quality of education provided.


Romsey operates several bus routes around the town and surrounding areas. There are also several school buses to transport children to their designated institute, as these are often found on the outskirts of the town.

The train station is a Grade II listed building, and is served by the Wessex Mainline. There are regular trains between London and the South Coast.

The M27 and M3 are both a short drive away, and can be used for connections to the rest of the UK. Southampton is just 7 miles away, making the town excellent as a getaway resort not too far from the sea.

Amenities and Shopping

Romsey Abbey has been listed as one of the finest examples of Norman Architecture which remains in the UK today. It certainly is a sight to behold, towering majestically over the small town; wonderfully preserved considering how old it is. This is just one of the many cultural and historical sights Romsey has to offer – there are several buildings and trails for those wishing to trace the ancestry or history of the town – all of which are extremely enjoyable.

The town has a large shopping department store named Bradbeers, which stocks anything and everything – if you think of something, Bradbeers probably has it! There are several bars and cafes in which one can eat out whilst enjoying the little high street. Romsey also holds frequent corn, farmers, street and continental markets, earning it the reputation as a market town and attracting custom from all over Hampshire.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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